United Way News You Can Use: April 2022

A group of staff members pose in their colorful Live United t-shirts.
Promise on the Plains: Grant application now open

A new investment opportunity that builds a more equitable community.

Grant applications are now being accepted for Promise on the Plains, United Way’s new initiative that strategically invests financial resources in the Wichita metropolitan region to help close gaps and disparities in health, education, financial stability and basic needs experienced by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). This investment opportunity will work to reduce inequities in the BIPOC nonprofit sector by assisting in building organizational capacity to help foster a more just and inclusive community. Recipients will be announced during the community Juneteenth celebration.

Learn more and apply at unitedwayplains.org/promise. Applications are due by noon, Wednesday, May 11.

United Way President and CEO Pete Najera poses with other leaders of the Wichita Collective Impact initiative.
Wichita Collective Impact collaboration created to advance equity

Funded through a $2 million gift from Wichita-based Cargill Protein North America, the new Wichita Collective Impact (WCI) collaboration is a three-year initiative led by United Way of the Plains, the Greater Wichita YMCA and the Public Policy & Management Center at Wichita State University. The goal is to advance equity through educational success and workforce readiness, beginning in the 67214 ZIP code. Learn more about the collaboration by reading the press release.

First Grant Application Now Open

The initial WCI grant application is open for programs that address access to quality early childhood education through kindergarten readiness for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds within 67214. Learn more about the grant at unitedwayplains.org/wci. Applications are due by noon on Friday, April 22, 2022.

Pictured above at the WCI press conference: Brandon Johnson, District 1 City Council Member; Pete Najera, United Way President and CEO; and Careem Gladney, Cargill Protein Business Manager.

A red "United Way Helps Here" banner hangs outside a nonprofit in Wichita.
How you can make a difference in bringing progress to the plains

Excerpt from Op Ed written by Jennifer Szambecki, marketing director for Hutton and United Way board member.

While United Way of the Plains has been around and distributing grant funding to area nonprofits for 100 years (literally), they have transformed and improved the process. And it’s gaining steam.

Opportunity on the Plains (the annual grant investment cycle) is underway now and investments will be announced in June. In addition to the name, the process itself is new. It’s all online, so nonprofits who were used to submitting reams of paper to United Way can more easily and efficiently participate. United Way also lifted many restrictions that created barriers for some organizations to apply. Most importantly, United Way spent time opening lines of communication and building trust with many of the region’s nonprofits. These changes resulted in a 3x increase in the number of applications.

Volunteers are busy doing the challenging work of deciding how to allocate United Way of the Plains funds. Guided by a commitment to being partners and collaborators, not rivals and competitors, we will allocate available funds to organizations in the most fair, equitable way possible. If you guessed the need far exceeds available funds, you are correct. You can be part of closing that gap this year and, in the future, when you give to United Way.

Read the full Op Ed on our blog.

United Way staff pose with WuShock at a WSU Men's Basketball Game to benefit United Way's childhood literacy efforts.
Impact created by your United Way: First quarter 2022

View our first quarter impact statement. Because of your support, we created lasting change in the areas of health, education, financial stability and basic needs.

Click on this thumbnail image to watch a video about how United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is helping people file their taxes for free.
Tax deadline looms. Have you filed? United Way’s free tax prep program can help.

Debbie’s mom needed help to file her taxes but hiring professionals was beyond her budget. Click image above to watch how United Way’s free tax prep program made the process easy for them.

If you make less than $60,000, our IRS-certified volunteers can help you too. In person appointments are scarce. Dial 2-1-1 to see if there are any openings. We also have a free way to file your taxes online with the support of one of our volunteers. Visit getyourrefund.org/best-uwp to get started today.

Early detection is key. Attend this year’s free skin cancer screening.

Did you know 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70? When detected early, the 5-year survival for melanoma is 99 percent. Mark your calendar for a free skin cancer screening clinic on Saturday, May 7, at KU School of Medicine – Wichita, 1010 N. Kansas (I-35 & 8th/9th St. Exit), 8 a.m. – Noon. Use the east entrance.

The clinic is sponsored by your United Way, the American Academy of Dermatology, Medical Society of Sedgwick County and KU School of Medicine – Wichita.

The United Way management team poses together in their Live United t-shirts.
Here’s your chance to join #TeamUnited!

Are you mission-focused and purpose-driven? Do you appreciate a commitment to something larger than yourself? We are looking for relationship-oriented, collaborators to join our team as we work to advance the common good. Click the links below to learn more and apply today.

United Way of the Plains logo.

245 N. Water St., Wichita, KS 67202
(316) 267-1321
Looking for help? Dial 2-1-1.

Want to subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter at your preferred email address?



Published On: April 7, 2022Tags:


Our focus is on healtheducationfinancial stability and basic needs—the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. Click below to learn more about what we’re doing, the programs we invest in and our lasting impact in each area.